BOOK REVIEW: It's a Man's World
Polly Courtney recently made news when she spoke out about her dislike for the cover of her new novel, It's a Man's World. Polly claimed that the jacket image of the book, which is about a woman who starts work at a notoriously chauvinistic lads' mag, was 'condescending' and aimed at - shock horror! - the chick-lit market.
Okay, so I didn't agree with this. Not at all. And I was a bit annoyed, seeing as It's a Man's World was a book I'd been waiting to read for quite some time (you know, as a chick-lit fan and all that jazz...) Still, I decided to read it anyway. And truthfully? I wanted to dislike it. I really did. But sadly, I coulnd't, because as much as the cover and debated that followed riled me, it was actually a very good book. And I'm honest.
In It's a Man's World, Alexa Harris has been offered the job of taking over a popular magazine in order to improve it and boost its readership. Which, to workaholic Alexa, is the perfect challenge. The downside? The magazine is Banter, a lads' mag popular for its blatant sexism. Still, Alexa takes on the new role with fierce determination.
However, problems quickly arise. Mainly with an office filled with chavinistic, breast-obsessed men and one female PA who seems intent on using her appearance to get what she wants - a job in journalism. Needless to say, disrupting the Banter team's habitual ways by taking over hasn't put Alexa on their good side.
Not only that, but Alexa's choice of job isn't popular with her family and friends. Her mother is disgusted by Banter and her pals aren't exactly pleased with its content, wondering why Alexa is willingly becoming a part of it. And then there's boyfriend Matt - a relationship that Alexa is finally considering as serious - who is also feeling the strain of the new job. With so much to deal with at Banter, Alexa's personal life is heading for a downfall. But what can she do? Esepcially when a protest involving the magazine gets rapidly out of hand...
Can Alexa take the strain of life at a lads' magazine? Can she play the men at their own game?
I liked this novel. It was fast-paced and particularly funny, and I was fond of Alexa. She's ambitious and feisty, and determined not to let the sexist attitudes of the office staff deter her from her target - which is to save the magazine after a drop in readership. Having never been behind the scenes at such a magazine, I imagined the offices would be as Polly described Banter's. It's a Man's World is a thoroughly enjoyable read and I read it in one sitting. However, despite Polly's arguments, the book does seem to be aimed at the correct market - the plot and formula of this novel is similar to that of any other 'chick-lit' book, and I feel that it fits the genre perfectly. Am I wrong? Maybe.
Though I really do love that cover.